I guess you could say I got an early Christmas present this year. Brought by UPS was yet another external hard drive from Hudson Archival, the company that is digitizing our microfilm for our NHPRC-funded project. I now have three of these things clustered around my desk. Pretty soon there won’t be room for me!
“Hudson-01” was the first one to arrive last spring with digitized images of the Oliver Wolcott Papers. Little sibling “Husdson-27” arrived next with the Silas Deane Papers and the American Revolution Collection. And just last week, “Hudson-68” joined the crowd, with images of Jonathan Trumbull Jr. Papers, a re-shoot of some Silas Deane pages, and the Williams Family Papers. I have done quality control on everything but Hudson-68. So far, the images are fantastic and any errors seem to have been on the part of the person making the microfilm. When I found a few images that were overly dark and hard to read, Hudson agreed to play with the contrast. And when I asked them to divide the two-up images (two pages per image which is standard for microfilm) into single images, the response was, “no problem.”
Getting the images is just the first step. As I said, I do quality control, and compress the images so they can be uploaded. Then I have to create the metadata for each “folder” of images that goes up on Connecticut History Illustrated. These folder descriptions primarily come from the finding aids to the collections. Once the metadata is in place, then I can upload images. It is a many-stepped process with lots of “twiddle your thumbs” time while files compress or upload. But that means I can multi-task as well as the best of them.